Sunday, 19 August 2018

Normandy over the Weekend

Mate Matt Smith turned up late on Friday after a horrendous journey on our discredited road network, almost eight hours to do a four and a half hour trip, but enough, Matt was here for the weekend and we had planned three Bolt Action scenarios and then an historical refight of the battle of Deorham from 577AD. The first game was a British paratroop attack on the sleepy German garrison of Warton-sur-Mer, I was the Germans and placed my four squads in buildings surrounding the vital crossroads, I had two veteran squads and two regular along with a sniper, MMG and mortar.

Due to their dispersal the Para's attacked piecemeal, however they tried to get a flamethrower into a position to roast my men in the local brasserie but I was aware how deadly these could be and did everything in my power to discourage or kill the team. I was successful and with their support gone the nearby squad could do nothing more than cower behind a wall. Meanwhile Matt made an attack near the large barn and ruined house, I caught one of the squads in a field and whittled it down to two men but couldn't wipe them out. The British reinforced with another squad which put some hurt on my men at the corner of the barn, the first dice out of the bag became very important and thankfully I got it and managed to get the survivors of the squad along the road to safety. Because of the night fighting rules I found that my mortar was worse than useless so I ordered the three man crew to pick up their rifles and get stuck in, this worked and in the end Matt lost a whole squad here.

Warton-sur-Mer 0200 hrs.

Matt fails to spot my guys and they leg it.

As the game approached the last turn I had one objective safely in my pocket but the other two were up for grabs, I had squads protecting the two of them but they failed to stop the Para's making a supreme effort and ensuring they ended the game contested, one by simply moving a man with an umbrella close enough!

'Umbrella' gets into a position to contest the objective.

The Germans only just hold the crossroads.

An interesting game and the sighting rules were kinder to me than Matt, this ruined things several times for him and stopped him from gaining some scalps, or rather command dice. The visibility severely disrupted the use of my mortar and MMG but the two veteran squads helped keep me in the game.

The gist of the second game was that close to Warton-sur-Mer was a bridge at Warton-St-Claire over an impassible river, the Germans had set the bridge for detonation with four charges, a British Para force had pushed ahead inland with the intent of capturing the bridge and holding it for the following armour. The Germans were determined to prevent the British getting the bridge and had formed a small Kampfgruppe around a PzIV. My plan was to cover the bridge with multiple machine guns from the tank, halftrack and motorbike sidecar, this was not going to be enough.

What I had forgotten was that I really needed to get people on to the bridge in order to stop the Para's disarming the charges, so my delay allowed the British to get on the bridge and disarm two of the four charges, this of course left two which were crucial to blowing the bridge, one would not do. I had a run of luck, especially with my mortar, and wiped out the original squad which had done so well on the bridge, I had also managed to get an infantry squad in range of the structure, things looked good. Matt now managed to get some reinforcements along the road and despite throwing everything at them they looked like making it to the two remaining charges.

The German mortar becomes a real threat.

Sitting back is not going to work mein herr.
"Shorty" Perkins.

It was crunch time, I sent my commander and the squad over the bridge to confront the Para's, a lot of Brits bit the dust but their medic managed to keep them in the fight. I then made a dreadful mistake of fighting the survivors rather than simply shooting them to death, I lost the fight, the look on Matt's face was priceless. In the desperate fighting I lost all my men but took the rash decision of running my tank up and over the explosives, the machine guns rattled and then the bridge was empty, the explosive officer waved frantically at the tank commander to get off the bridge and within a few seconds hit the plunger. Remember I needed both charges to go off to ensure the bridge was denied to the enemy, I made the rolls and as the tank reversed back to the road up went the bridge, a German victory, just.

Now to throw away my advantage by engaging in hand-to-hand, grrrrr

A great game and like the first it was anyone's until the last moment. I had miscalculated and thought I could simply spray the bridge and keep it clear of the enemy, this was not a good plan and I only just managed to get men up to make a fight of it. We had a few laughs, "Shorty" Perkins was for a time the lone British presence on the bridge but eventually fell to a swathe of MG42 bullets, and I, as the dastardly German, took my revenge on the Medic for saving around half a dozen guys by taking him out with my sniper with the last shot of the game. Matt muttered something about the Geneva Consumption?

What ave we here then.
Reverse Hans, reverse!
This took us to early evening on Saturday, we packed up and reset the table for the last action, a meeting engagement around Chateau Wartone, but this time we changed sides, I was attacking with the British and Matt commanded the Germans. We retreated to the George Washington for big eats and a refreshment before starting the finale.

More to come.


  1. George, These two games were everything I hoped they would be and a good deal more besides! Both came down absolutely to the wire. Plus there were so many genuinely funny moments too. Such as when my Para assault section popped out from around the barn in game 1 to blast your chaps, only to roll dreadfully for the night spotting and simply not see Jerry just yards from them! If one of your chaps had only sneezed! Your debacle on the bridge in game two had us both in stitches. I couldn't believe my ears when you said your chaps were going to assault my lads. Gaming at it's very best in all respects :o)
    PS - heaps of thanks to your leading lady for looking after us (well, mainly me :o)) so splendidly!

  2. Two very fine courses there George, I look forward to the third. “Never underestimate a man with an umbrella” - John Steed🙂

  3. What is the save against an umbrella I wonder? Two fine games there George.

  4. Looked a damn good game George.

    1. Very exciting Ray, nearly messed up not taking the bridge and relying on firepower.